Gunmen kill guard in failed attack on Pakistani oil depot


Islamabad : Gunmen staged a failed attack on an oil storage facility in Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi, killing one of the security guards, the police said Tuesday.

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Three attackers, all wearing burqas, tried to enter the facility late Monday but were confronted by a private guard.

The gunmen killed the guard and the sound of gunshots alerted the security officials and a police unit deployed nearby, Karachi police chief Waseem Ahmed told reporters Tuesday.

Retaliatory action forced the assailants to flee the scene, leaving behind 10 hand grenades, three Kalashnikov assault rifles and the burqas.

Police are working on the evidence, according to the officer, who suspected that the attack was linked to the anti-Taliban operations in the country’s north-western region.

“The Pakistan Army has conducted a very successful offensive and the fleeing militants are now moving into the settled areas,” Ahmed told Urdu-language Geo News television channel.

Government forces in July declared most of the restive Swat valley cleared of Taliban fighters after nearly two months of intense clashes.

But troops are encountering isolated pockets of resistance even after killing more than 2,000 militants. Main Taliban leaders, including local chief Maulana Fazlullah, have so far evaded capture or death, raising fears of Taliban regrouping.

The insurgents have carried out numerous assaults on government targets in the north-west and some parts of the eastern Punjab province but Monday’s strike was the first one in Karachi, which is the capital of the Sindh province and Pakistan’s commercial centre.

Ahmed told Geo TV that the rebels were desperately trying to carry out terrorist activities in the metropolis, which largely remained free of militant violence for the last several months.

Police claim to have killed six alleged terrorists and arrested 60 others so far this year.

“We are on full alert,” Ahmed said. “And they (the insurgents) are on the run now because we are chasing them.”